April Kung, DVM ♦ May 21, 2018
I’ve returned to work as an emergency vet. It fills me with joy because I’ve figured out how to get veterinary medicine 80% right. I control my emotions, forgive my imperfections, practice the kind of medicine I like to practice, and perhaps most importantly, I only work for good hospitals.
Only working for good hospitals is the hardest part. Unfortunately, I have to drive three hours and live out of hotel rooms for days at a time in order to work for a good hospital. But it’s worth it. Because working for a good hospital takes me 60% of the way to happy. Controlling my emotions, forgiving my imperfections and practicing the kind of medicine I like takes me another 20% of the way. The remaining 20% may be good or bad and varies from day to day. But I can deal with 20% bad. Anyone can.
Driving home this week, winding my way back up to 7,000 feet elevation as I-17 twisted and turned through the desert, my heart was filled with so much joy I thought it might burst. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the cacti were blooming. My iPhone shuffled to the song “Don’t Look Down” by OneRepublic and it literally made me cry tears of joy. I don’t know what the words to this song are. I don’t care. It sounds like I feel: Grateful. Grateful to have overcome the challenges of the dark years of my early career, grateful to have learned what I’ve learned, grateful to have found a wonderful place to practice, and so very grateful to be a veterinarian.
Click play on the video below and close your eyes so you don’t get distracted by the lyrics or images. Then just listen. Put your arms out like you’re flying, throw your head back and imagine sunshine warming your whole body. That’s what practicing veterinary medicine can feel like – when you get it 80% right.